I am still reflecting on this Easter. It has by far been the best I’ve had ever. So fun, so engaging, and so moving. And the best part, many people got introduced to Jesus for the first time this Easter weekend and began a relationship with him!
Not only did we do an Easter egg hunt Lifepoint style (with 185+ amazing volunteers and dropping 30,000 eggs out of a helicopter), but well over what we expected to show up came out to Ashley High School. 10,000 adults and children! We had inflatables, games, giveaways, and face painting (aka the AWESOME TEAM – thanks to all 4 of my girls who painted and put a smile on kids faces NON-STOP from 9:30 to well past 12:30). I think overall everything went pretty smoothly and very organized for our first time. If and when Lifepoint Church ever does this event again, it will get even better. Some people will always have something negative to say, but that fact remains that we did it because we LOVE the community, we wanted people to have a good time, and it was FREE. See more pics here.
Check out the video Brad made that captured the whole egg-stravaganza:
I have to note that the entire service flowed so beautifully. Thank you staff and volunteers for making that happen. It makes a difference. Every element (that I saw in the 9am service anyway) flowed smoothly from one thing to the next. From song to bumper video to youtube video to message to an artistic painting. Drew knocked it out of the park with his team. They really did. I could not have imagined a more appropriate set list of songs that engaged the people, causing us to reflect and worship, lifting high the name of Jesus, celebrating his sacrifice and resurrection!
The other thing. Pastor Jeff spoke on a subject that probably no other church was talking about. It’s not your typical Easter message. It was one of his best messages though. Really articulated well, and smooth. Heavy subject, but not over your head. He had a way of conveying the message in such a real, compassionate AND passionate way- characteristics of God that is what is so compelling about the message and hope of Christ. Most people simply preach on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. And that’s cool. We did too. But it was so much more to me. The message this Easter was taken out of Hosea. When God commanded Hosea to do something that made no sense whatsoever- to marry a whore and stick with her even when she ran around on him and didn’t even care. This is not a pretty story by any means, but God wanted to show Israel how they ran around on him, were ungrateful for his provision, and worshipped other gods. The same way that Hosea bought back his wife at her very lowest, when nothing good was left- God did the same for us in buying us back. And Jesus was the currency of the day. I can’t get over that. I hope those of us that know Christ never get over that. In my own life I am filthy, ungrateful, and focus or even worship other things. But “God demonstrated his own love in this- that while we were still sinning, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
God desperately desires a relationship with us, he keeps pursuing us even when we don’t want him. Because he loves us. And it’s FREE. It’s a free love. And it’s always AVAILABLE. We don’t have to earn our way into that love, we simply get to accept it.